Thursday 25 February 2021

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque's chandeliers turn 'star attraction'

ABU DHABI, 6 days ago

Since the opening of The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on December 20, 2007, it has attracted wide global interest mainly due to its architectural masterpieces that combine authentic design and technology to create nuanced illumination and enchant visitors.
Complementing the exquisite beauty and timeless elegance of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque are its seven unique chandeliers that embody Islamic architectural detailing at its finest, said a statement from Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre (SZGMC). 
Manufactured at the renowned facilities of German crystal chandelier maker Faustig, this chandelier uses stainless steel covered with 24-carat gold plates while Swarovski crystals adorn its panels. 
Nearly 40 million units of green, red, and yellow-colored crystal balls were integrated into the design of the chandelier, lending a special elegance to the entire prayer area.
The two smaller chandeliers in the main hall weigh 8 tonne each, and are 12.5 m tall and 7 m wide. They feature 9,500 intricate light bulbs, with an inbuilt staircase to enable maintenance work.
Creating a perfect harmony with the overall design of the Grand Mosque, they have continued to attract widespread global interest since its opening, it stated.
The beauty of the chandeliers blends seamlessly and cohesively with the medallion and ornamental design on the hand-knotted magnificent carpet below – creating an integrated artistic ensemble. The carpet with colorful crystal pieces hanging overhead resembles a vast stretch of water reflecting vibrant colors, it added.
To preserve the design elements of these intricate masterpieces and ensure their sustainability, the SZGMC said it had lately mobilised a special taskforce of experienced Emirati engineers to implement a detailed maintenance plan.
The team comprised 45 members, including a project manager, a site supervisor, engineers, technicians, and health and safety supervisors. 
Across a 45-day period, the maintenance works continued for 12 hours every day, with the exception of Friday, from 7:30am to 7:30pm, and spanned the complete overhaul of the chandelier system, said the statement. 
Salem Al Suwaidi, Director of Support Services at SZGMC, said: "The maintenance of the chandeliers is carried out as part of a strategic plan adopted by SZGMC to ensure future generations can continue to appreciate the mosque’s rich architecture."
"The chandeliers receive our special attention given their significance in enhancing the overall design of the mosque," he stated.
"The seven chandeliers in variegated sizes and colors each have a story to tell. The largest chandelier in the main prayer hall measures 10 m in diameter, is 15.5 m tall, and weighs nearly 12 tonne," noted Al Suwaidi. 
Incorporating 15,500 LED lights, it features a spiral staircase in its trunk to allow maintenance personnel to climb to the top to complete the cleaning work or fix any faults. 
Using a scaffolding platform, the middle of the cylindrical section of the chandelier can be lowered to a certain level to allow for seamless maintenance, he stated.
Al Suwaidi pinted out that he maintenance work is performed in compliance with the highest international standards, as they capture the attention of a huge number of visitors every day. 
"We are proud of the contributions made by our Emirati workforce in ensuring the timely completion of the maintenance work that demanded meticulous attention to detail, and adherence to highest international quality standards. Such efforts are crucial in maintaining the iconic status of this landmark that has in a short period of time become a key religious and cultural destination," he added.


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